Meeta Khalsa: Caregiver Of Cervical Cancer Patient

Meeta Khalsa - Caregiver Of Cervical Cancer Patient

Caregiver Of Cervical Cancer Patient

 

Life comes with variations of colours that indicate the level of unpredictable situations. It may seem easy to give up on it, but fighting to survive takes a lot more willpower and mental strength. To keep yourself healthy and in shape, you need to take good care of your body and mind. I saw my mother’s cancer worsen by the day, and eventually, she died. Let us divide the story into three parts, enumerating the turn of events in my mother’s battle with cervical cancer.

 

The birthday I will never forget

My birthday was on August 30th, which happened to be the very day that my mother was bleeding painfully. So, as a gift, I urged her to visit the doctor. After meeting the gynaecologist and performing specific tests, my mother was immediately diagnosed with cancer. The idea of cancer was relatively new for me, and I hadn’t even completed my schooling yet. On top of that, the fact that my mother had cancer was extraordinarily disheartening and hurtful.

 

The doctor further informed her that there was only one way to confirm whether she had cervical cancer, a biopsy. So, we decided to get that done, and once the results came out, we got to know that she had stage 3 cervical cancer. We were commuting on a two-wheeler at the time, and I couldn’t help my tears while she sat behind me, smiling and laughing. She assured me that there was nothing to worry about since there are treatments for everything nowadays, but I wailed the entire night wondering what would happen next.

 

Cervical Cancer Treatment did help, but only temporarily

Since my mother was ready for treatment, we did not have to convince her for anything, and the treatment was started soon. She underwent four cycles of chemotherapy, along with 25 radiation therapies. I was there throughout her treatments and therapies since my father had to handle the business, and my sister was the one taking care of the house. It was a heartrending sight, and it used to cause me pain every time I saw my mother. Nevertheless, she was a healthy soul and showed immense mental strength throughout the entire treatment process.

 

Relapsed cancer and a flood of problems

She lived her life peacefully and cancer-free for the next 14 years, and everyone’s life finally seemed to be back on track. However, in January 2020, she faced specific issues like bloating and acidity, which she conveniently ignored by blaming it on her age. First, we decided to take her to a gynecologist, and there she underwent sonography. After the results came out, we learned that her uterus had shrunk entirely due to the radiation and chemotherapy. 

 

When we visited the oncologist, he confirmed a very high probability that the cervical cancer may have relapsed. Next, we got the PET scan done, and it became clear that what she was suffering from was a local recurrence. It did not bring my mother’s spirits down. She was ready to fight it once again with the same willpower she had shown initially.  

 

Buckling up for treatment, again.

Once she had decided that she wanted to undergo treatment again, she underwent three chemotherapy sessions and all the medicine. She did not encounter any hair loss during the first chemotherapy session, but after the second one, she got completely bald, and she was well-prepared for it. Nothing, not even her lousy health, could stop her from doing her chores and smiling at all the times. 

 

Another PET scan took place on March 19th, 2020, and the results suggested that the cancer had spread to her neck as well. To move forward, the doctor instructed us to go for radiation but warned us that it might be more painful. She always smiled and asked the doctor when she needed to visit next. 

 

The doctor also asked her to be careful during the second time she took radiation because her bones may become increasingly weak and brittle. 

 

Knee Pain made matters worse.

By April 16th, she had completed her treatment, and this was a massive weight off my shoulders as I was worried about how she was going to manage the treatments during the lockdown. On mother’s day, I sent her a cake, and that very evening, she experienced excruciating knee pain. Again, we acted carelessly and blamed it on the chemotherapy and expected it to subside by massaging. 

 

To our surprise, the pain did not fade away, and hence, I called an ambulance for her. She experienced deadly pain, and my dad wasn’t allowed to see her because of the pandemic. After moving to the ICU, various painkillers were injected into her body along with COVID 19 tests.

 

Fortunately, the corona tests came out to be negative, and my father was then allowed to be with my mother. Another PET scan was conducted, and the results were disastrous. The cancer had taken control all over her body. She also got her knee fractured due to which she was experiencing knee pain. 

 

Her last moments with us.

The doctors informed us about the spreading of cancer throughout the body. My mother was happy when she got to know about this because she never wanted to be bedridden for long. She was discharged with a broken leg and a life expectancy of fewer than three months. We started her palliative care next, and she suffered immensely during her last few days. She was not able to sit and got mentally disoriented as well. 

 

On June 4th, I visited her for the last time, and that is when she smiled and took her last breath. She always told us that life was unpredictable and prepared us so well that I didn’t even cry when she died. 

What I learned from her.

The critical lesson that I have learned from her was how to stay fit and healthy, both mentally and physically. Yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are things that I have developed to stay healthy in my day-to-day life. I also do not want other people to face the challenges and problems I had to face, so I am spreading awareness about not ignoring the symptoms and the importance of early detection. 

 

We need to accept, fight, and move on. The mental health of any human is equally important as their physical health. Early detection of diseases like cancer can increase the chances of the patient surviving and making it through. It can also help prove the treatment to be more effective before it spreads.

 

Always remember that life consists of both highs and lows, and nothing can stop you from moving forward. The way you choose to move forward is totally up to you, but you always move forward and never backward.